Looking for Peyton Place
Barnes & Noble
Published by: Scribner
Release Date: July 12, 2005
When Grace Metalious’s Peyton Place was first published in 1956, it had a profound effect on Middle River. A small mill town in New Hampshire, Middle River was convinced that it was the model Grace had used..No one was affected more deeply than Annie Barnes, whose mother and grandmother paralleled the major characters in Peyton Place. An aspiring writer herself, Annie was made a scapegoat for the angst the town had suffered at the hands of Grace Metalious. Indeed, Grace became a fixture in Annie’s life, an alter-ego of sorts.
Driven from town, she has become a successful novelist. But now her mother has died and her sister is ill, and she senses that something is very wrong with Middle River. So she returns. Whether bidden by curiosity, a need for redemption, or revenge, Annie goes after the town’s powerbrokers and, in the process, learns more about herself, her family, and Grace than she ever expected.
“Intriguing….Delinsky is at her best, skillfully weaving elements of a tantalizing mystery and titillating romance in this vibrant page-turner.”
“All the right ingredients – romance, mystery, suspense, sisterly rivalry, and a thoroughly happy ending.”
“A compelling read.”
I am a writer. My third and most recent novel won critical acclaim and a lengthy stay on the bestseller lists, a fact that nearly a year later I'm still trying to grasp. Rarely does a day pass when I don't feel deep gratitude. I'm only thirty-three. Not many writers attain the success I have in a lifetime, much less at my age, much less with the inauspicious start I had.
By rights, given how my earliest work was ridiculed, I should have given up. That I didn't spoke either of an irrepressible creative drive or of stubbornness. I suspect it was a bit of both.
It was also Grace.
Let me explain.
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I was eleven when Peyton Place was first published. Back then, I had no idea that I would become a writer or that the work of Grace Metalious would have a profound effect on me. I reread Peyton Place for the first time as an adult back in 1991 and saw a whole new side to the book. Peyton Place is about far more than sex. It is about women standing up for themselves and finding a voice long before women’s rights came into vogue...
Grace Metalious died at the age of 39, less than eight years after Peyton Place became the very first blockbuster bestseller. She drank herself to death, estranged from her family, feeling unhappy and unfulfilled..
Few know this fact, because Peyton Place the book was quickly eclipsed by the movie and the TV series. I wanted to refocus on Grace. So I created a town, a citizenry, and contemporary issues, and let fiction shed light on a very real woman and life’s very real problems.